Carers Network celebrates significant milestone after Trust receives Carer Friendly Employer Quality Mark | Latest news

Carers Network celebrates significant milestone after Trust receives Carer Friendly Employer Quality Mark

Colleagues from UHDB's Carers Network being presented with the Carer Confident accreditation by Derbyshire Carers.

Members of the UHDB Carer's Network were joined by colleagues to celebrate the Trust being presented with the Carer Friendly Employer Quality Mark.

The accreditation, which is recognised nationally by Carers UK, demonstrates UHDB's commitment to building a supportive and inclusive workplace for colleagues with caring responsibilities, while also using their lived experiences and expertise to continue to support caregivers or those who may need to provide care for a loved one in the future.

Members of the Trust's Carers Network were joined by representatives from Derbyshire Carers, MP for Amber Valley, Nigel Mills, as well as fellow Staff Network leads, UHDB Chief Executive, Stephen Posey, alongside other members of the Trust Board, to be formally presented with a certificate recognising the Trust's carer status.

Jemma Walker, Lead of UHDB Carers Network, said the accreditation comes as a result of years of hard work, and it will have wide-ranging benefits for carers across Derbyshire and Staffordshire:

"I am immensely proud for the Network and the Trust to have been recognised in this way. This has been something we have been working towards together for almost two years, so to see everyone's efforts rewarded in this way is quite moving.

"This truly shows that if you are a carer, the Trust and the Network will do all we can to help you achieve a positive work-life balance and support your needs during what can be challenging times."

Since originally signing the Carers Pledge in 2022, the Network has worked with senior leaders and colleagues across the Trust to review policies to provide further support to carer colleagues, as well as enhancing the type of support available - including the roll out of the Carers Passport and dedicated training for line managers to enable them to support carers within their teams.

Recap on when UHDB first signed the Carers Pledge back in June 2022 >

Jemma explained: "The Carers Passport acts as a conversation tool between carers and their line managers. It lists all relevant information relating to our carers to allow managers to better understand their situation and needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made where necessary, but also to allow managers to understand their situation more in a compassionate and inclusive way.

"In addition to this, the Network has established and trained a network of Carers Champions based across the Trust who act as a first point of contact for colleagues needing advice and support relating to caring and to signpost to the resources available to them should they need them."

The carers tree being presented to the Trust by Rosliston Forestry Centre. As part of the presentation, a tree which represents the network of carers at the Trust was presented by Rosliston Forestry Centre, with hand-crafted butterflies - each representing a working carer at UHDB - to be added to mark their contributions to the Trust and our communities. 

According to the State of Caring report from 2022, issued by Carers UK, it is estimated there are almost 11 million carers in the UK - which means on average, one in every five people has carer responsibilities. With the number of those providing care to loved ones expected to rise nationally in the coming years, the Network recognises the importance of continuing to support both current and future colleagues to create a healthy balance between work and the roles as a carer.

Jemma, who is herself a carer to her son, George, says balancing having a carer alongside caring responsibilities can be very challenging, and wants to use her own lived experiences to help benefit others.

She explained: "Being a carer presents a unique set of challenges, and more and more people in our communities are having to become care givers to their loved ones. Being able to receive this accreditation, and continue to support our working carers means so much to us all and we're delighted to celebrate this milestone.

"We're one of the biggest trusts outside of London to receive this recognition, and it really puts UHDB on the map not just for carers, but as an inclusive workplace for all. We are really keen to use this as a springboard as we look to build on this and enhance our work to not only keep our accredited status, but to achieve more for our carers."

Will Monaghan, Executive Chief Digital Information Officer, who is the Executive Sponsor for the Carers Network, was joined by Executive Chief People Officer, Amanda Rawlings, in praising the dedication of Network members, and reiterated the Trust's commitment to continue to make improvements for colleagues with caring responsibilities.

Will said: "It has been a privilege to support the Network in all of their work to improve the working lives of carers, and I am delighted to see their hard work and commitment recognised on such a level here today.

"Jemma and Rachel's passion and experience as carers themselves has helped us to achieve this milestone, and for that we are very grateful - but I am sure this is just a starting point for them and the Network and I look forward to continuing to support them in their future work."

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